Ice, yellow bam, poor man’s cocaine – methamphetamine goes by many names, and it is one of the most commonly made synthetic stimulants in the United States. The illegal drug is dangerous not only for its side effects but also because it’s quick and cheap to manufacture.
Unlike cocaine and heroin, which are mostly imported, meth is locally made and therefore that much easier to distribute. Law enforcement agencies report that labs are increasingly cropping up in rural areas and meth makers have even devised cooking methods that make mobile labs possible.
This worsening situation makes it all the more important to inform yourself about this illegal drug. Fortunately there are groups like The Meth Project Foundation. This foundation has launched public service campaigns to show just how dangerous meth can really be, with ads featuring the disturbing reality of what this drug can do to the human body.
One piece of information you certainly need to be armed with is how to tell if your friend, immediate family member or relative is using this dangerous — and dangerously addictive — substance. Users of this drug show various symptoms, and they can be a combination of any or all of the following:
• Paranoia and other psychotic behavior
• Mood swings and sudden outbursts
• Dilated pupils, even in brightly lit areas
• Burns on fingers and mouth
• Loss of appetite
• Erratic sleeping patterns
• Exaggerated mannerisms
• Excessive sweating not due to weather or physical activity
• Deteriorating physical appearance and lack of concern for hygiene
• Unusual body odor, which smells like ammonia
• Frequently in need of cash – always borrows money, sells possessions or steals
The best way to help your loved one find the path to recovery is by encouraging him or her to accept treatment in a drug detox facility. The journey of rehabilitation starts by first being able to identify the signs of meth addiction.